The program is especially appropriate for deaf, hard of hearing, and hearing professionals who work with or supervise deaf colleagues working in federal government agencies. This level of appropriateness was validated by the Deaf and Hard of Hearing in Government (DHHIG) support group in a letter of support for the program where Mark McKay (former DHHIG president) said:

"DHHIG regards this program as a way to fill a need for Deaf and Hard of Hearing individuals seeking a professional graduate-level degree for managers and aspiring managers in the executive levels of Federal, state, and local government."

The need for this program was also confirmed by the Federal Office of Personnel Management's Center for Leadership Development.  The OPM's Center for Leadership Development has created a formal partnership with the MPA program that allows federal employees accepted into the program to take their electives through the center for leadership development.


The Master of Public Administration Program prepares deaf, hard of hearing, and hearing professionals to lead in public sector and non-profit organizations with a sense of direction, to focus on results, to develop others' capability to perform, and to serve with integrity.


The Master of Public Administration Program is the premier graduate program in the United States and throughout the World for preparing deaf, hard of hearing, and hearing professionals who work with deaf and hard of hearing colleagues, to manage and lead in public sector organizations. Our vision for the program is driven by a set of core values. We value:

We value learner-centered teaching and learning. We collaborate with our students to help them design a personalized program of studies that will support their aspirations to move up into managerial and leadership positions in their organizations.

We value direct communication with our students. We seek to admit students who already possess sign communication skills so they can communicate directly with their peers in classes, on campus, at work, and in social events. However, we recognize that there are Deaf, hard of hearing, and hearing non-signers who may apply for admission to the program. Those non-signers who are admitted to the program will be required to learn ASL as a graduation requirement. Interpreters or CART services are provided in those courses with non-signers enrolled.

We value diversity defined in its broadest sense to include diversity of gender, disabilities, sexual orientation, age, hearing status, among other dimensions of diversity. In valuing diversity, we expect our faculty, staff, and students to interact with each other with a high degree of civility while at the same time enforcing ethical codes of conduct that do not tolerate bigotry, hatred, violence (verbal or physical), character assassination, rumor-mongering, and illegality.

We value the highest principles of professional and academic integrity among our faculty and students. We strictly enforce professional and academic codes of conduct, including academic integrity policies and procedures.

We value a culture of teaching and learning. We take these twin dynamics seriously and we assess student learning outcomes to ensure that we are living up to this value.

We value faculty members who are teachers first and researchers second. We recognize that it is the teaching and learning process that will enable our students to develop or enhance their managerial and leadership knowledge and skills. Because of this value we expect our faculty members to be highly effective classroom teachers.

We value faculty members who have up-to-date knowledge and skills.  Maintaining state of the art knowledge requires our faculty to engage in scholarly activities that create research projects, books, articles, and other media. Maintaining state of the art skills requires our faculty to participate in professional development opportunities such as workshops, advanced graduate courses, and attending national conferences.

Program-Level Student Learning Outcomes

The MPA degree program is designed to help students satisfy a set of "universal required competencies" developed by the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration (NASPAA). These competencies drive the program's mission and they clearly support public service values. The required competencies are organized as five domains.

Domain 1 - Leadership and Management: Students will demonstrate the ability to lead and manage in public governance;
Domain 2 - Public Policy Process: Students will demonstrate the ability to participate in and contribute to the policy process;
Domain 3 - Critical Thinking and Decision-Making: Students will demonstrate the ability to analyze, synthesize, think critically, solve problems and make decisions;
Domain 4 - Public Service Advocacy: Students will demonstrate the ability to articulate and apply a public service perspective; and,
Domain 5 - Communication: Students will demonstrate the ability to communicate and interact productively with a diverse and changing workforce and citizenry.

Course-Specific Student Learning Outcomes

The program of study for the MPA degree is 40 credits. Each course in the program will have 3-5 course-specific student learning outcomes with accompanying learning opportunities, and learning targets.

Student-Selected Learning Outcomes

The program is also designed to comply with principles of learner-centered and project-based teaching and learning. Students are advised to design a Personal Learning Plan soon after they are admitted to the program. That plan should include student-selected learning outcomes that must be clearly aligned with the program-level and course-specific learning outcomes.

Program Contact Information

Geoffrey Whitebread –